bigstock-Nature-photographer-at-work-in-27273836Before getting started with your DSLR shots, you’ll want to understand the basics of DSLR and how to shoot on it. Understanding how it works as a basic camera and all of its manual functions is an important part of using it as a video camera. It’s also a good idea to master the basics of lighting for film and video, to increase your overall video quality.

There are many benefits to using a DSLR camera as opposed to a camcorder for shooting video – the photo quality tends to be better due to the tonal range and larger sensors. They also tend to have a better depth-of-field flexibility.

One drawback is that it can sometimes be awkward to hold a DSLR camera for a long period of time, but the quality of the video and the high-end features they offer blow the camcorders out of the water.

Fast autofocus is also an important feature of DSLR-video-recording.  It lets the camera identify a subject, and quickly adjust the lens to keep that subject in focus, even for objects in motion. DSLR cameras didn’t used to be great with video because the users had to manually adjust focus, or the autofocus was very slow. Now DSLR’s are smaller and more compact and offer autofocus that’s quick enough for video. Some of these new cameras even have continuous autofocus, which can keep objects focused even with a great amount of movement.

Here are some of the best DSLR cameras for video:

Canon EOS Rebel T3i

Many people love this Canon simply because you can’t find better quality for this price. Starting at $500, this is a great option for beginners or for people who want a camera that is easy-to-use and produces excellent quality video. Canon is known for making great compact cameras, and this one follows suit.

Canon EOS 7D

Another Canon camera with many of the same features as the Rebel T3i, this one is typically 3x as expensive and offers a slew of additional features (many of them in manual mode) that help with every aspect of the video shooting process. This is the right choice for serious photographers and professionals. It features an 18.0 Megapixel APS-C size CMOS sensor and captures wonderful quality film.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2

This interchangeable-lens camera offers touchscreen controls with advanced focusing tricks and has some of the best video capabilities of any camera on the market.  Other cameras work better in less than optimal lighting solutions, but this is the only one that’s super easy to use and has all the HD camcorder features. The downside is that it doesn’t have an optical viewfinder.

Sony Alpha SLT-A55

This is the first translucent-mirror camera Sony has done and it has great continuous-autofocus capabilities – which is crucial for filming video. The image quality is excellent and it’s small size makes it appealing for both professional and novice shooters. It keeps moving objects in focus at all times with it’s hi-res live image preview with rapid phase detection. With prices around $800, this is a great and practical mid-range camera.

Nikon D7000

This midrange DSLR has excellent video quality. It  takes stunning 1080p HD movies and offers full time autofocus and an external microphone jack to record superior sound as well as high-quality video for up to 20 minutes.

Most DSLR cameras have a reputation for producing amazing still photos, but these 5 stand out as the great ones to use for video as well. The general rule is that the bigger the image sensor, the better the quality – and DSLR cameras are generally 15 times bigger than camcorders! If you want a camera that is great for stills and produces excellent video footage, these five are your best bet.

You may also want to read:

How to Edit Videos

Best Free Video Editing Software

How to make a music video

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